7Ghost-towns in India that once thrived and now are tourist hotspots with nothing left but a history


Some towns and cities live with so much grandeur and such vibrant life to them that they refuse to die in our heads decades and centuries after they stop existing. India, with its rich history, has a long list of cities and towns that had a grand past. However, life moved on from these towns and now, all they have to them are remnants of the grand past that is filled with the echoes of the life they’ve lived once.

They continue to have some leftover vibe to them and that’s perhaps what draws so many people to these dead towns. A trsyst with history, some time away from the hustle and the bustle of the big cities and the quaint old-world charm these places hold is making them really popular with tourists. If that’s what you’re looking for on your next vacation, you should probably consider visiting one of these ghost towns.

Hampi was the capital of Vijayanagara kingdom of the 1500’s that was filled with plenty of pomp and life to it. Fast-forward to today, nearly 500 years later, where all the ruins of the still extremely beautiful architecture, its roads and temples still exist, Hampi is a tiny hippie-town where life can be put to a standstill for a while.

Credits : Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Anila Kopparapu

It is only recently that this town started seeing a growth in the number visitors it has after all the ancient structures have been resurrected and it is has been declared a UNESCO heritage site. We must savor all the beauty and solitude the place has to offer before it gets too crowded with all the throngs of people that are choosing to holiday here and all the urbanization coming up to cater to the tourists’ needs.

What was once the capital of Akbar’s kingdom is now still a well-preserved town with many of the palaces and architectural structures intact. Fatehpur Sikri served as Akbar’s capital only for a very short time but today, this small town has plenty of visitors who get to experience being in the same buildings that Akbar once reigned the country in, that Tansen sang all his ragas, that same place where prince Jehangir was born and all his queens roamed. This is a ghost-town experience everyone would love.

Credits : Arian Zwegers

Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Anila Kopparapu

One of the much recently abandoned towns is the Dhanushkodi island that lies south of the Pamban islands in Tamilnadu’s coast. This small town was destroyed because of a heavy cyclone in the year 1964 and has been abandoned since then.

So what draws people to this tiny ghost-town? This town is significant for the role it is supposed to have played in Ramayana and you can actually see the stone structure under the sea – which is believed to be the Ram Sethu that led Ram to Sri Lanka from what the legends say. People tend to visit this town at times because of this history it’s got just out of curiosity. The old railways station and the Asoka pillars of the place can be paid a visit to while you are here.

Credits : Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu, India by Anila Kopparapu

This quaint old beach town is Tamilnadu was not as small as it is today as it happened to be the capital of the Pallava kingdom and the biggest cities of their reign back then. The many stone building and structures in the UNESCO heritage site are surely worth paying a visit to for all the beautiful ancient temple-ish architecture they were crafted in. There are nearly 400 monuments and ruins of temples you can visit here, the shore temple, the Pancha rathas, descent of the ganges being some of them. The Krishna’s butter ball in Ganesh ratha temple is yet another structure that’s not to miss. This ancient town that once lived in grandeur today has plenty of visitors and keeps getting more popular by the day.

Credits : Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India by Anila Kopparapu

Mandav, a tiny town in Madhya Pradesh that people barely know about was once a really popular city that served as a major fort town for the Mughals as well as the rulers that came after that. The town bears the remains of all the history that it saw nearly 500 years ago even today in the form of all the mahals and ancient structures that still exist. The Hindola mahal, Jahaz mahal, Rewa Kund and the Hoshang Shah’s tomb are not to be missed out on while you are here.

Credits : Jean Pierre Dalbera

Photo of Mandav, Madhya Pradesh, India by Anila Kopparapu

The town of Lakhpat in Gujarat is yet another almost-ghost-town of India which was a major city that connected Gujarat with Sindh during the reign of some ancient kingdoms and with the Sindhu river flowing through it. Over the years, there were events that included the earthquake that made Sindhu river not flow here anymore and that made the residents move. The partition had quite an effect on this town as well. If you happen to pass by this town make sure you visit here and check out the Lakhpat fort, the Pir Ghaus Mohammad tomb and the Lakhpat Gurudwara Sahib of the place.

Credits : bsarangi

Photo of Lakhpat, Gujarat, India by Anila Kopparapu

A little away from Hyderabad lies the famous Nagarjuna Konda where Acharya Nagarjuna supposedly dwelled in what was a thriving city nearly 1800 years ago. Yes, that’s really ancient history. The remnants of this city are still found on the hill although it got demolished long before Hyderabad turned into an actual city. The last reign in this area was by the Ikshvaku kings. Recently, many ancient Buddhist relics, parts of some stupas and viharas were excavated and are on display here today. The Nagarjuna Sagar dam that is close by is also often visited by the locals as they visit this hill.

Credits : Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas, Andhra Pradesh by Anila Kopparapu

Have you been to any one of these ghost-towns? Do you know of more ghost towns in India? You can share your experiences here.

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